British author, 48 year old Erika Leonard who writes under the pseudonym E.L. James, has described the “Fifty Shades” trilogy as her “midlife crisis” saying, “All my fantasies in there, and that’s it.”. Erika shared her fantasies all right, and took millions of us along for the ride with sales of around 20 million worldwide.
In the book, Anastasia Steele, the nerdy and bumbling beautiful young college graduate has a chance meeting with the uber successful, young business prodigy Christian Grey. Grey, with his millions, sensual good looks and mysterious persona to go with it, is every woman’s fantasy. Women can’t keep their eyes off of him, and their lustful thoughts from wanting him, but his detached demeanor has prompted rumors that he is gay. The media has never captured a picture of him on a date.
There are no date pictures of Grey, he doesn’t “date”, and he doesn’t “make love”, he just “F***s, he F****s hard”….and off to the “Red Room of Pain” the novel takes its readers. Before spending intimate, romantic time with Grey; excuse me, in keeping with the novel I mean to say, before spending time F-ing with Grey you will need to sign a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement; and, before spending time in the Red Room of Pain, you will need to sign a contract spelling out what your “hard” and “soft” limits are. “Hard limits” in BDSM are what you will not participate in within the confines of this form of sexual role-playing.
Playing “Hard” is Grey’s preference, but oh, to add to the irony of the story line, Anastasia, his newest muse, is still a virgin and completely inexperienced. This is where the novel loses credibility with its readers. Are we seriously to believe she goes from virginity to all levels of “Kinky F***ery” as it is described in the book?
What does keep the story believable and the plot line moving along through all the sex scenes, is how two people, each with their own insecurities, find each other and fall in love. It is the exploration of those insecurities, and the love story and personal growth that embraces them, that elevates these novels to the level of romance gold. Yes, the character Christian Grey is 50 Shades of F’d up, but the unfolding of the how and the why, lends the reader to feel compassion for his character. Understand the complexities and insecurities of this outwardly confident, successful man and one can understand how such a nice young girl could fall for him.
Whatever you think of this book that some have called “Mommy Porn” and “Smut”, it has found it’s way in to the hands of decent, respectable women. I don’t doubt that most readers, just as I have, had to consult Wikipedia for details on the BDSM lifestyle just to understand parts of the book.
Think of 50 Shades as a romance novel on steroids and give it a read if you dare. Prepare to get titillated by the scenes, which is why husbands and boyfriends worldwide (…..taking liberty from what I’ve heard from the guys at work and from friends) are quite happy to have their ladies tucked in the easy chair reading before coming to bed at night!
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